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Infrastructure Ministry: Russia delays arrival of ships to Odesa ports
Ukraine's Ministry of Infrastructure reported on Feb. 13 that in the last week 25 ships exported 1.1 million tons of agricultural products to countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. 54,000 tons of wheat were sent to Sri Lanka, 57,000 tons to Bangladesh, and 90,000 tons are expected in Kenya, Tunisia, and Egypt.
However, the report adds that the rate of arrival of for ships in the ports of Odesa have decreased. Last week, the port received 16 ships, as opposed to 25 the week prior.
The Ministry accuses Russia of sabotage at its inspection zone in the Bosphorus, noting that as of Feb. 12, 145 ships have been waiting in line for inspection by the Joint Coordination Center, of which 122 are headed to Ukrainian ports for agricultural products.
There are currently 18 ships docked at the ports in Odesa loaded with 584,500 tons of food. Only one has passed through the "grain corridor" after inspection.
"We hope that the issue of stalling inspections will be resolved by the efforts of our partners and the entire civilized world. Ukraine has the right to free commercial navigation according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the world has the right to uninterrupted access to food. Russia must stop imposing its discriminatory policies on the whole world," the Ministry said.
Since August 1, 732 ships left Odesa ports, which exported 21 million tons of Ukrainian food to the countries of Asia, Europe and Africa. However, this volume should have amounted to more than 35 million tons under normal conditions of the Grain Initiative agreed upon by all parties.
According to the Ministry, Ukraine plans to increase the volume of exports from 20,000 tons to 25,000 tons for grain and from 6,000 tons to 10,000 tons for oil to reduce idle time.